Archive for November, 2004

Why should not old men be mad?

November 14, 2004

W.B. Yeats

Why should not old men be mad?

Why should not old men be mad?
Some have known a likely lad
That had a sound fly-fisher’s wrist
Turn to a drunken journalist;
A girl that knew all of Dante once
Live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream
Climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
Should starve good men and bad advance,

That if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
Of an unbroken happy mind,
A finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
Observant old men know it well;
and when they known what old books tell,
And that no better can be had,
Know why an old man should be mad.

W. B. Yeats.

Thats me one of those, one of those old codgers – who can see the decay – complain about the world getting worse. And of course there is a beaury in that – of being in a process, aging if you like, but also learning – like Yeats to make an art form out of it.

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